I’m a marine biologist who lives in the mountains. I’m not sure how that happened, but I certainly have no regrets. This also means I’m used to water in all forms. While I’ve spent my career in liquid water, the frozen variety also hold a lot of sway over my life. Yesterday, a winter storm put out my power for about 14 hours. Power being out doesn’t particularly bother me; I’ve lived without power and running water for months following typhoons, so no lights and no internet aren’t foreign to me.
My internet is still down, and but the modern miracles of mobile hotspots and unlimited phone data have allowed me to get my laptop on line for at least a few minutes. When I checked my email, I found one from Apex magazines informing me that my story submission had made it past their first readers. For those not aware, lots of magazines with high submission rates use first readers to cull their slush piles and advance a smaller subset of stories to the editor(s) for final decision. Getting past the first reader does not guarantee a sale—the rejection rate at Apex is >99%—but it does mean I haven’t been rejected yet, and that much of the competition has been stripped away, leaving . . . well . . . the tough competition to content with. So, it’s sort of mixed bag, kind of like leveling up only to find that the bosses you have fight are just that much tougher. I still expect to receive a rejection in the end.
This story has been a bridesmaid several times already, which tells me one of two things: 1) it’s good enough to get through the first cuts, but might not be quite there for a sale in the end, or 2) it just hasn’t found the right editor or publication yet. I like to think it’s the latter.
Keep writing. Keep submitting. And good luck.